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1/26/2018 | By Kevin Walseth

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Recap

CES (consumer electronics show) is an amazing event where all the large electronics companies don't hold back when showcasing what they have been working on for the past year(s). At the show LG unveiled a stunning 8K TV, Google went all-in with "Hey Google" which included wrapping the Las Vegas monorail, and a few companies launched directed photon technology in a TV - where you can view 2 different shows on the same screen at the same time depending on the angle you are sitting at.

But many don't know about the large area at the Sands Expo Center called Eureka Park. This entire area is booth after booth of over 600 startups and makers of all kinds. Here are some of our favorites:

- Fret Zealot made learning guitar easy and fun by using LEDs on a flexible strip which would light up showing where your fingers need to be placed.

Image of the Fret Zealot booth

- Shapelog will track your workouts and send you and your trainer real-time data to monitor your progress and build your workout routines.

Image of the Shapelog

- Nuviz added a heads-up display on your motorcycle helmet so you don't have to look down at your speed or any of your gauges. They are already in your peripheral vision.

- Hologruf will turn spinning LEDs into what seems like floating images and videos. You can add any image or MP4 video file and it will show the image. Put multiple of them together to create a much larger image.

Image of the Hologruf presentation

Maker.io's biggest take-aways from show:

  1. Integration of smart home technologies. It was very apparent that Google played a large part in sponsoring the event, but the amount of companies that were integrating smart home in their products was overwhelming. Between Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Home Kit - nearly every other booth had one or the other integrated in their design. Or all 3! iDevices has built an Echo Dot (with microphone and speaker) into a light switch. So instead of your Alexa sitting in your room - it is now built in.
  2. AR and VR – Virtual Reality is still very exciting and there were many different displays watching people put on the headgear and looking quite silly. Augmented Reality is really starting to push forward into smartphones and displays. Apple ARkit has made it very easy to create apps and interesting real-life augmentation.
  3. 5G - At 3G speeds you could download a full 2-hour movie in 26 hours. At 4G it was a mind-blowing 6 minutes. 5G.... 3.6 seconds. 5G will revolutionize data in everyday life. Smart cars will be able to monitor traffic and roadways faster. AR and VR activities will have basically zero setup time and allow for truly wireless headsets. Did I mention downloading a full movie in 3.6 seconds. It takes longer to tie a shoe (not shoes).
  4. IOT - the phrase we have all been hearing for a few years now is still in full swing. Nearly every product connects to the internet is some way or another. Even a start-up that created kids toys is connected to your phone to program, upload, and teach. Internet of Things is still going strong. IOT offerings are actually becoming more of a complete solution making it easier for implementing into any design.
  5. Automation - whether it is self-driving cars, or gesture controlled drones - CES was home to many new companies competing to autonomously drive the world.
  6. Wireless Charging - Android users have been using this for years, but now that Apple has adopted wireless charging into their phones - it has become the real deal. Alarm clocks with a wireless charging pad built-in to set your phone on, office desks with a built-in wireless charger, even solar backpacks with a wireless charging pocket for your phone.
  7. Intel’s Drone show was amazing to watch as 250 mini drones with RGB LEDs glowing the night sky for nearly 5 minutes. The drones created shapes and danced above the fountains in front of the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip.

Image of Intel’s Drone show

And what to look out for…. IBM demonstrated their Quantum Computer. Definitely the future of computation. No more ones and zeros. Now we will be talking about qubits which does not have a definite value and can contain a probability of both. This one is hard to wrap my mind around.

CES showed that technology is not slowing down and the wave of the future is now.

-Kevin Walseth